The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Wednesday, August 09, 2000

Interlude I

Parking lot design in South Florida is an art. A black art to be precise. A black art that the practitioners take a delightful glee in pursuing it seems.

Most parking lots are designed with a fractal dimension close to two. But the designers of the parking lot where Annmarie live have manged to outdo even themselves and have managed a parking lot with a fractal dimension close to three.

Imagine if you will a hill. I know people here in Lower Sheol might have a hard concept of hill (seeing how Lower Sheol is flat. So flat it's nearly concave), but basically, picture a hill. Now, make a nice slice out through the hill, deep enough to cut below ground level. How hollow out the hill. The slice leads down and the parking spaces are beneath the hill. It gets better though. On top of both sides of the hill are more parking spaces, open to the elements. So there is parking below and on top of these hills.

Now, place these hills hapharzardly throughout the parking lot and cram as many spaces as you can between the score of parking hills. What you end up with is a masterful Byzantine labrynth of a parking lot with a fractal dimention close to three.

The sidewalks that meander throughout this mess approach a fractal dimenstion of two. And the placement of the apartment buildings is random; there is no logic at all to the placement.

The first time Mark and I went to her apartment, it took us ten minutes of navigation through the parking lot, and another twenty of walking around to find her building. The numbers on the reserved parking spots bear no relationship to the building number and the building number has no relation to the apartment number. The building numbers are not in a consipuous place like the side of the building, no. They're embedded in the sidewalk at the entrance to each building.

So you end up with Marcus and Annmarie having parking spots 639 and 640, building 604 and apartment 38.

Their apartment complex is a fractillian hell. And the upshot of all this is:

Marcus can't park the truck near his building. The closest is on the parking hill next to his building, but that would either mean the truck is angled front to back with items threatening to fall out the back (“Watch out! The entertainment center is slipping!”) or angled left to right with items piling along one side.

The closest flat spot is a guest spot off to the right of the building, but even if Marcus managed to park the truck there (and that's a big if), he would still manage to block off part of the parking lot.

Another spot, a few hundred feet in front of the building, is in front of another building on the grass, with a third location, between the two but you have to navigate around the parking hill.

A fourth spot would be to pull down into the parking hill, but that would mean going down yet another flight of stairs (did I mention they live on the third floor?) and blocking off a large number of cars from pulling out.

So Marcus parked in spot number three.

Not a friendly place to move into or out of it seems.

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